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What Are The Best Natural Testosterone Boosting Supplements?

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: November 15, 2021

Low testosterone is easily recognized as a lack of energy and focus, loss of muscle strength, and poor sex drive.

We would all like to regain testosterone without resorting to medical treatments and the good news is that there is a way to do it.

I’ve shared some of the natural testosterone boosters with my clients, and they’ve noticed significant improvements in their T levels.

I decided to put all the information into one article, so you could benefit as well. Let’s dig in.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • Changes in lifestyle, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet can improve testosterone levels. 
  • There are food sources and natural supplements that boost testosterone levels naturally, such as Ashwagandha and Garlic. 
  • Testosterone treatment and medications can help treat testosterone deficiency.

Testosterone: What Is It and How Does it Affect Your Health?

man showing his back muscles and a bottle of pill

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone, although women's bodies also produce testosterone at lower rates. Testosterone controls: 

  • Sexual development
  • Fat distribution
  • Muscle mass and muscle strength
  • Bone health
  • Red blood cell production
  • Human behavior

Testosterone levels start to drop as men age. However, studies have shown that maintaining healthy testosterone levels is essential for health in several ways:

  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular heart diseases, obesity, and diabetes [1,2,3]
  • Improving sexual dysfunction [4]
  • Enhancing body composition [5]
  • Managing depression [6]
  • Improving the overall quality of men's life [7]
  • Improving well-being, mood, and sexual function for premenopausal women [8]

Further studies show that to maintain a quality lifestyle, men and women should ensure healthy testosterone production, especially as they age [9,10].

Here's how you can naturally boost testosterone.

What Are Natural Testosterone Boosters?

Natural testosterone boosters include specific food sources and natural supplements found on the market. They are safe and natural remedies to help increase your testosterone so that you can have more energy, higher libido, and better work and sports performance.

They are not meant to treat severely low testosterone, but they help maintain healthy testosterone, especially as you age.

7 Testosterone Boosting Supplements

Close up image of fresh garlic and fresh ashwaganda

Here are some of the natural supplements or food sources that can help maintain healthy levels of testosterone.

1. Garlic

Garlic has tons of health benefits, and there's plenty of evidence that it helps increase your T levels and improve sexual function.

Research suggests that garlic helps improve blood flow, which might help treat erectile dysfunction [14].

Garlic is also known to increase sperm production and testosterone levels, probably due to its antioxidant properties [15].

2. Zinc

Zinc deficiency can disrupt the pituitary gland (the pea-sized gland in the base of the brain) from producing key hormones that stimulate T production.

A particular study found that men who received 30 mg of zinc every day increased T levels in their bodies [16].

Another study where zinc-deficient older men took zinc supplementation for six months showed an increase in their serum testosterone levels (total testosterone levels in your blood) [17].

Zinc is also known to improve sperm quality.

Some good sources of zinc include:

  • Whole grains
  • Milk products
  • Red meat
  • Baked beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Nuts

3. Vitamin D

D-Aspartic acid is another essential vitamin that helps increase testosterone levels. Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when we're exposed to sunlight. So, getting as much sunlight as possible is important for healthy T levels.

Men with high vitamin D levels showed higher testosterone levels than those who were vitamin D deficient [18].

Vitamin D increases luteinizing hormone, which is a hormone that controls the production of free testosterone.

Besides getting enough sunlight, you can also take vitamin D supplementation and consume foods high in vitamin D, such as seafood, egg yolks, and fortified foods.

4. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, also called Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry, is a nootropic medicinal herb that is a brain-calming herb typically used in many supplements.

It helps improve the deficiency of testosterone by directly increasing the hormone testosterone and indirectly reducing cortisol levels.

There's plenty of evidence that shows Ashwagandha increases T levels. Men who took Ashwagandha extract for eight weeks showed a boost in their testosterone levels [19].

Also, this herb helps in reducing stress levels, managing anxiety, and depression, which all together increases testosterone levels.

Here is our article on the best aswagandha supplements.

5. Oysters

Oysters are highly rich in zinc, which can help in sperm production and encourage testosterone production. It's also known to boost dopamine, which is known to help increase sex drive.

6. Leafy green vegetables

Those with poor testosterone levels may want to consider adding more leafy green vegetables to their plate. These leafy green vegetables are rich in magnesium, and magnesium is another mineral that helps increase testosterone production [20].

7. Fatty fish and fish oil

capsule supplements

Research shows that fatty fish and fish oil may also help reach normal testosterone levels in the body.

Fatty fish may be beneficial because it's high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Other studies show that omega-3 or fish oil supplements increase testosterone levels, helping raise fertility among men.

Here is our article on the best Omega 3 supplements.

Here are some of the fish high in omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Herring
  • Salmon
  • Atlantic mackerelardines
  • Trout

Proven Ways to Naturally Increase Testosterone

man holding a dumbbell and another in a lotus pose

We will also go through all the scientifically based ways to increase testosterone, including lifestyle changes.

1. Exercise Regularly and Lift Weights

Low testosterone levels are linked to obesity, increased fat loss, and a decrease in muscle growth.

Exercise helps lose weight and build more muscle. So, the more pounds you lose and the more muscle you build, the higher your testosterone levels.

Research involving obese men showed that increased physical activity is far more effective in increasing testosterone levels than maintaining a healthy diet [11].

"I recommend doing strength training or lifting weights for 30 to 45 minutes two to three times per week for increasing your T levels. Do cardiovascular exercise or high-intensity interval training on your off days." — Richard Jadick, D.O., a Piedmont Urologist

Exercises that effectively boost testosterone are resistance training and high-intensity interval training. Becoming physically active can also lower your blood pressure, put you in a better mood, and help balance your hormone levels.

2. Get Plenty of Quality Sleep

man in bed asleep

Having poor sleeping patterns affects your well-being, and research further tells us that it also affects your hormone levels, including testosterone.

One study shows that men who slept less than 5 hours every night had a 15% decrease in their testosterone levels [12].

Experts suggest getting enough sleep of about 7 to 8 hours is beneficial to maintaining healthy testosterone levels and for your overall health.

3. Minimize stress

Several studies have shown that cortisol (stress hormone) works against testosterone, like a seesaw: when one goes up, the other comes down.

What's more, it becomes a vicious cycle — the lower testosterone levels can cause stress, causing the testosterone levels to drop even lower.

High cortisol levels can also cause weight gain, which also negatively impacts testosterone levels.

On the flip side, managing stress can boost T levels.

So, stress-management techniques, such as meditation or breathing techniques, and a well-balanced lifestyle can boost testosterone levels and improve men’s health.

4. Avoid exposure to estrogen-like chemicals

Be careful about the food and drinks packaged in plastics or cans because studies show that BPA, parabens, and other chemicals found in them can cause normal levels of testosterone to drop.

Results of a study where workers in BPA-exposed factories showed significantly decreased testosterone levels than workers who didn't [13].

Here are ways to reduce your exposure to estrogen-like chemicals:

  • Buy fresh, frozen, or dried foods instead of canned
  • Limit buying packaged food
  • Never heat canned food
  • If you can't avoid buying foods in BPA-lined cans, rinsing the food in water may reduce BPA levels in the food
  • Look for alternative products that are stored in BPA-free containers

5. Limit alcohol consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption has been proven to mess up your hormone levels. Alcohol can have both short-term and long-term effects on your testosterone.

Heavy drinkers usually have higher levels of the female hormone estrogen, which affects sperm count.

On the contrary, moderate alcohol consumption does not affect testosterone levels.

What to Do if You Have Low Testosterone?

close up image of a person using injections and skin patch

It's good to note that these T-boosting supplements or food sources are not meant to treat medical conditions, such as hypogonadism or low T levels.

Yes, there are clinical studies to back up that they can increase testosterone levels naturally, but if you're diagnosed with this condition, it's best to seek a medical expert to provide medical advice on low T treatment options.

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) or androgen replacement therapy is one of the treatment options for low T levels.

There are several forms to this testosterone therapy: skin patches, gels, injections, and implants.

There are also testosterone supplements that have natural ingredients. But, it's essential to do enough research or consult a doctor who can provide professional medical advice before buying these supplements.

FAQs

Which Foods Increase Testosterone the Most?

These food sources help your bodies produce more testosterone:

  • Ginger
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fatty fish and fish oil
  • Egg yolks
  • Oysters

What Is the Leading Cause of Low Testosterone?

Testosterone naturally declines with age, and studies show the risk of developing low levels of T or hypogonadism is higher in men aged 40 and up [21].

But, there are other factors at play, including lifestyle, nutrition, injury or trauma, cancer chemotherapy, and chronic health conditions.

Conclusion: Why Do Testosterone Levels Matter?

Healthy levels of testosterone are very important, especially as we age. It helps prevent risks of serious diseases, mental health problems and improves sexual health.

What's more, increased levels of testosterone can rapidly promote muscle gain and reduce body fat.

Maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle, such as working out, getting good sleep, and consuming food sources that increase testosterone, such as leafy green vegetables and fatty fish, can significantly help raise testosterone levels.

Specific treatment options and testosterone booster supplements may also help.

Doing these lifestyle steps can boost testosterone and the overall quality of your life.


References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9345114/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26839520/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21709300/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21709300/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10442580/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19625884/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17178553/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14501599/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7714119/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6841562/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26798202/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445839/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19906654/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28554988/
  15. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330360910
  16. https://www.asep.org/asep/asep/BrillaV2.PDF
  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8875519/
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20050857/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6438434/
  20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20352370/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4391003/

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